The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) is now accepting applications for the NEADS National Student Awards Program, the Holly Bartlett and Christine Nieder Memorial Awards and the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarships. These awards are offered to encourage full access to post-secondary education for persons with disabilities enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or professional degree programs at recognized Canadian universities, or in certified diploma programs at Canadian colleges. Two outstanding applicants who meet eligibility criteria will be eligible for the $5,000 Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship (one English, one French). Up to six deserving applicants, who meet the criteria of the NEADS Student Awards Program, will be receiving an award in the amount of $3,000 to support the costs of their tuition and student fees. One or more eligible and outstanding applicant(s) will receive the Holly Bartlett and Christine Nieder Memorial Awards, in the amount of $1,000.
“We are very proud of the NEADS Awards Program, the Holly Bartlett Memorial Award and the Christine Nieder Memorial Award and our close to 90 recipients over its first 10 years,” said Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, NEADS’ Director of Research and the director of the student awards program. “These programs are the first of their kind in Canada, and were created to recognize overall excellence among students with disabilities in all aspects of post-secondary education. Our winners to date all embody the very best qualities of academic and community involvement. We hope that the program continues to grow, and we look forward to this year’s crop of outstanding applicants.”
Formerly known as the AMI Scholarship, the award has been renamed the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship in honour of the organization’s Accessibility Officer who passed away in December, 2015. Robert Pearson was a long-time employee of AMI and fervent supporter of accessibility in Canada and around the world.
“Renaming the AMI Scholarship in Robert’s memory ensures that his hard work lives on and forever reminds us of his commitment to accessibility and creating a more inclusive society,” explains Peter Burke, AMI Vice-President of Marketing and Communications. “The Scholarship program was created to further strengthen the organization’s commitment to making accessible media for all Canadians; a role that Robert embraced with great passion and enthusiasm. He was an inspiration to all of us.”
Entering its sixth year, the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program offers much needed financial assistance to students with a disability. In 2017, AMI will once again collaborate with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) to administer the program and engage students with disabilities from across the country. Two $5,000 bursaries will be awarded to two deserving students with a permanent disability; one from the English community and one from the French.
“Holly Bartlett was loved by all who knew her”, said Frank Smith, NEADS’ National Coordinator. “It was my privilege and pleasure to work with Holly while she served on our Board of Directors. Holly’s accomplishments, in a life that was way too short, were phenomenal. We believe that the Holly Bartlett Memorial Award is a fitting tribute because it will help other students with disabilities realize success in post-secondary education. This is the seventh year of the Award in Holly’s memory.” NEADS has given out 11 Holly Bartlett Awards since the inception of this program.
Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai said of the Christine Nieder Memorial Award, in its third year: “Christine was a valued part of NEADS, and the National Graduate Experience Taskforce, as well as an important contributor to our work nationally and in British Columbia, and a good friend. We honour her legacy and her passion for research and volunteerism with this new award.”
NEADS will be announcing the corporate sponsors of the 2017 NEADS Student Awards Programs over the next few weeks!
Apply for all programs through the NEADS website: http://www.neads.ca/en/about/projects/ete2/scholarship/